What happens when an ice tsunami on the Yenisei River crashes ashore in Russia? Lots of ice blocks suddenly appear. For those who aren’t familiar with the term, an ice tsunami, or ice shove, refers to a surge of ice from an ocean or large lake onto the shore. They are caused by ocean currents, strong winds, or temperature differences pushing ice onto the shore, creating piles up to 40-feet high. Read more for the video and additional information.
Air Protein, developed by a Bay Area startup, uses NASA technology to transform carbon dioxide (CO2) into protein, similar to plants. During the 1960’s, the U.S. space agency devised a way to use CO2 as food during their extended missions, and in their research, scientists discovered a class of microbes called hydrogenotrophs capable of converting carbon dioxide into protein. The resulting powder could be used to create pastas, shakes, and now, a meat alternative. Read more for another picture and additional information.
NASA’s Advanced Electric Propulsion System (AEPS) and Aerojet Rocketdyne thruster successfully completed its first full-power test. It’s designed to be used by NASA’s Gateway lunar orbital outpost and on manned / unmanned deep-space missions, since the AEPS Hall thruster can run stably at power levels ranging from 4.2 kW to 12.5 kW. This is going to be a key component of the Power and Propulsion Element (PPE) module of Gateway, drawing 25 kW from the roll-out solar array (ROSA) assembly, which generates up to 60 kW. Read more for two videos and additional information.
Japan’s Hayabusa2 space probe is headed back to Earth with samples from asteroid 162173 Ryugu, which is located approximately 180-million miles away. There’s just one more thing, it will capture pictures of the half-mile-wide asteroid as it fades into the blackness of space, and then the probe’s field of view will turn back toward Earth for the return journey. Read more for a video and additional information.
If you’re unfamiliar with the transit of Mercury, this phenomenon takes place when the planet Mercury passes directly between the Sun and a superior planet, becoming visible against the solar disk. When this happens, Mercury appears as a tiny black dot moving across the disk of the Sun. The closest planet to the sun began its transit today at 7:35 a.m. EST and will continue its journey for approximately 5.5 hours. Read more for a livestream video and additional information.
Ever wonder what would happen if you opened a soda that has been shaken a little too much at the bottom of the ocean? Well, Commander Chris Hadfield, a former Canadian astronaut who was the first Canadian to walk in space, shows you just that and explains the phenomenon. Put simply, carbonated drinks, like seltzer or soda pop, get their fizz from dissolved carbon dioxide. When these are opened, the liquid is exposed to pressure imbalance (i.e. pressure outside is lower than the pressure inside). If the can or bottle is shaken before opening, it will increase the pressure inside, which means the top is popped, an explosion ensues. Read more for the video he recorded a few years back and additional information.
Photo credit: Desheng Kong via Oddity Central
Researchers from China’s College of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Nanjing University have developed an innovative alternating-current electroluminescent (ACEL) display that is thin enough to be worn on skin, similar to a temporary tattoo. It links with a human-machine interface that enables information to be displayed directly onto human skin. It consists of an electroluminescent layer made of light-emitting microparticles sandwiched between two flexible silver nanowire electrodes. Read more for additional pictures and information.
Photo credit: University of Rochester/J. Adam Fenster
University of Rochester and the Changchun Institute of Optics, Fine Mechanics, and Physics researchers have figured out how to make unsinkable metals using superhydrophobic (water repelling) materials. To accomplish this, they created structures made up of two treated aluminum surfaces facing each other, connected by a small central pole, designed to trap the maximum amount of air. What they ended up with was a virtually unsinkable metal. Read more for a video and additional information.
For most, this experiment is nothing new or special, but many don’t know that the iodine test is used to test for the presence of starch. It’s a simple, yet fascinating experiment, where starch turns into an intense “blue-black” color upon adding aqueous solutions of the triiodide anion, due to the formation of an intermolecular charge-transfer complex. Without the presence starch, the brown color of the aqueous solution remains. This interaction between starch and triiodide is also the basis for iodometry. Read more for the clip and additional information.
The Ocean Cleanup, a nonprofit that aims to rid the oceans of harmful plastic founded by entrepreneur Boyan Slat, has unveiled “The Interceptor,” a new vessel that collects plastic from rivers, then deposits the waste into floating dumpsters. Put simply, it’s a catamaran that glides across rivers while channeling plastic toward a conveyor belt, which then gets deposited into attached dumpsters. Read more for two videos and additional information.